House and Senate Pass Tornado Relief Bills

The House and Senate unanimously passed a bill designed to offer relief to cities impacted by December 10 tornadoes that ravaged parts of western Kentucky. The measure provides $45 million in immediate aid once it becomes law.

Both the House and the Senate passed the House Bill 5 Wednesday afternoon. Representative Richard Heath (R-Mayfield) sponsored the bill that was a companion to Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senator Jason Howell (R-Murray).

The legislation allocates $200 million to help those impacted by the deadly storms. While $155 million will become available as needs are identified, $15 million will immediately provide temporary housing, and $30 million will support damaged schools.

“Western Kentucky was hit hard, and it may take years to rebuild our homes, businesses, and government buildings,” Heath said while speaking on the House floor. “HB 5 provides a glimpse of what the blueprints for that will look like and will address the immediate needs and make a big dent into providing support for our children and individuals. I appreciate my colleagues for moving swiftly to pass this measure.”

“Much hard work has already taken place; much more remains,” Howell said. “On behalf of everyone in District 1 affected by this tragedy, I want to say thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of support that we’ve received and also for your continued help as we dig out and start this long road back to recovery,” he added.

Lawmakers sent the bill to Governor Beshear who is expected to sign the legislation.